Operations

Improving our operational practices is an ongoing commitment. As of September 1, 2009 here’s where we stand:

Administration

We strive to be as paperless as possible. Our client billing is electronic, unless otherwise requested. Our Kitchen application can be completed and submitted electronically. We request our vendors to invoice via email and we make payments electronically whenever possible. We also ask our professional service providers to supply all business documents electronically.

Business Model

Having multiple businesses under one roof is economically, environmentally and socially sustaining. Businesses can start, experiment and grow with less financial risk. Fewer remodels of commercial spaces take place when businesses start, change facilities or close. More money is recycled in our local economy, as more local food products become available here. A greater number of local food entrepreneurs creates demand for more and varied local crops, strengthening our biodiversity.

Cleaning Products

We’re testing a few different lines of products to see what works best. All are Green Seal certified in rated categories. Our all-purpose cleaner is made from hydrogen peroxide and oranges. We’re doing our best to reduce our dependency on products made from petroleum bases. 

Commercial Dishwashing soaps are not a class that Green Seal currently certifies.  We opted for a high-temp dishwasher, which eliminates the need for bleach in the rinse cycle.

Energy Efficiency

Our large kitchen hood has sensors that adjust the draw of our exhaust fan based on how much cooking activity is taking place. HVAC system consumes energy 30% below standard (a LEED requirement). Lighting power use is 35% below standard. 100% of our eligible equipment is Energy Star rated, which means significant operational savings.  One example: our Energy Star sound system uses 10% of the energy of a traditional system. 

Hand Soaps

At kitchen hand sinks, we use Indulgence Foaming Hand Soap, a Green Seal certified product. Our bathrooms have stocked Citrus Blossom Hand Soap, made in Chicago by the Enterprising Kitchen. This non-profit social enterprise provides workforce development and support services to women who are working toward self-sufficiency and economic independence.

Transportation

We reach the Kitchen by foot or bike daily, and use public transportation to meetings. Autos are used only as needed, and we work to combine as many tasks as possible into a minimum of designated driving days. We encourage patrons to practice these methods as well. 

Vendor Relationships

We ask our vendors to evaluate the practices at their companies and encourage them to consider measures to reduce their footprint. (Example suggestion: asking our legal counsel to consider joining the Chicago Green Office Challenge.)

Waste

We have retained Premier Waste Services as our recycler and waste hauler.  Premier has a heavy focus on recycling, since they are a waste hauler that does not own any landfills. We have a large commercial dumpster that we use for paper/cardboard, glass, metal and plastic.

Items that are not recycled by Premier, like scrap metal, light bulbs, and batteries have designated bins and are recycled separately.

Water Conservation

Our toilets are low-water, dual flush. Using only .8 or 1.6 gallons per flush, this is the single largest way in which we conserve water. Our commercial dishwasher is also a water-saving model. Logan Square Kitchen uses more than 40% less water than a conventional facility.

Water – Drinking

Our water service for the event space is equipped with an Everpure Charcoal Water filter, in order to eliminate the use of bottled water.